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Recommendations Of The Coroner's Inquest Into The Death Of Robert Gentles

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37. It is recommended that the Correctional Service review all Commissioner's Directives, Regional Instructions, Standing Orders and Standard Operating Procedures to ensure they are clear and in compliance with the law and policy to avoid any duplication and conflicting information.


The Commissioner of Corrections convened a review of all corporate policy in the fall of 1996. The intent of the review was to ensure that corporate policy, including Commissioner's Directives, Regional Instructions, Standing Orders and operating manuals was: consistent with the law; any duplication or inconsistency between policies was eliminated; and to ensure that all remaining policy was clear and accessible to staff.

The following has been accomplished to date:

  • As of January, 1997 all offender-related national policy had been reviewed and where necessary amended to ensure compliance with the law;
  • As of May, 1999 some 27 Commissioner's Directives have been eliminated and most operating manuals are in the process or have already been converted to Standing Operating Practices.
  • As of May, 1999 the number of Regional Instructions dropped from 221 to 25
  • All operational units reviewed their policies, leading to a dramatic reduction in the volume of local policies, for example one institution went from about 250 Standing Orders to less than 30;
  • All case management policies and processes have been reviewed and streamlined;
  • A more streamlined framework for security policy has been developed and is in the process of being implemented;
  • The policy development process has been established in such a way that local and regional policies must receive approval at the regional and national level respectively, to ensure that they are kept to a reasonable number;
  • A verification exercise has been undertaken to ensure that all staff have ready access to policy documents, either through the electronic network or in hard copy.

As recommended by the Task Force on Policy Review, all policies will be reviewed for consistency, clarity and currency every 2 years.

Ongoing quality review of policies is the responsibility of the Strategic Planning and Policy Branch to ensure that all national policies are legal, clear, concise and consistent with other policies and the law.